SBI: CMPD has legal authority to release police shooting video - | WBTV Charlotte

SBI: CMPD has legal authority to release police shooting video

Attorney General, and gubernatorial candidate, Roy Cooper (Source: WBTV/File) Attorney General, and gubernatorial candidate, Roy Cooper (Source: WBTV/File)
RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

The State Bureau of Investigation has released a statement after numerous calls from elected officials and the public to release the police video of the deadly shooting of a man by an officer in Charlotte.

"Regarding the video of the event captured by CMPD cameras, CMPD remains the custodian of the original recording and as such has the legal authority to release it," officials with the SBI said. "It is understood discussions are actively underway between local officials regarding the release of that video."

The investigation has been turned over to the SBI after a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer shot and killed a man Tuesday afternoon.

Keith Lamont Scott, 43, was shot and killed by CMPD officer Brentley Vinson at Village at College Downs apartment complex. Both Scott and Vinson are African American men.

In the four days since his death, protests have broken out in Charlotte, with a majority of the time spent in uptown Charlotte.

North Carolina Attorney General, and gubernatorial candidate, Roy Cooper believes the police video of Scott's death should be released. 

In a statement, Cooper said he believes releasing the video of the fatal shooting to the public would build trust among law enforcement and the communities they serve.

"Transparency between the community and our law enforcement breaks down barriers and brings progress," Cooper said in the release. "I also know that many in our community feel disproportionately targeted and yearn to be heard and respected."

Cooper said he has talked with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, as well as community leaders and law enforcement. 

RELATED: Family, police see different tale in same videos

"We must continue in the pursuit of the truth while also continuing the important work of bringing our communities and law enforcement together to build trust and safety for all."

In his statement, Cooper believes both goals can be accomplished by releasing dash cam or body camera footage of Tuesday's officer-involved shooting to the public. 

Earlier Friday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said there's a reason why the video hasn't been released and believes holding off on public access to the video protects the integrity of the shooting investigation. 

Charlotte's Mayor Roberts said she had to be convinced initially, but has come to an agreement with Putney and sees why it is important to delay the release of the video.

Roberts released a statement regarding the release of the body and dash cam video Friday afternoon.

"I respect the investigative process and I want to ensure the integrity of the independent investigation of the State Bureau of Investigation," the statement read. "I urge it to use every resource at its disposal to get this done and release the information to the public as quickly as possible."

RELATED: CMPD chief: Video evidence doesn't get us to probable cause

Thursday, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray called in the SBI to independently investigate the shooting death - at the request of Scott's family.

North Carolina General Statue 147-90 allows families whose relative is killed by a law enforcement officer acting in the line of duty to request an investigation by the SBI. 

The SBI will report back to the District Attorney when the investigation is completed. 
  
The SBI encourages anyone with information to call 1-888-624-7222.   

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